When we bought our house last July, we moved from a furnished house to an unfurnished house. That meant we had to leave a few things behind, including the kettle. My old Haden kettle was loved by myself (the sole operator of said appliance), but as I had gotten it to replace the nonworking one we had been supplied with, and refunded for its purchase, I had to leave it behind.
I knew what I wanted. My pots and pans are polished steel and black. My pan rack is black cast iron. My new kitchen that is being installed is black with steel and chrome accents. But I also wanted traditional touches so as to not go antiseptic and overly modern. I also wanted it cordless. So I looked at kettles (and toasters too as that was also having to stay behind). I saw several kettles that appealed to me. Traditional stove top kettle shapes, with black trim and bases, and polished steel bodies. But oh horrors at the prices! At £30 and up I felt I was prhaps being too picky and decided to look in Asda for a nice cheerful cheap white one while we were there grocery shopping.
It was on that trip we spied this kettle. It had all I dared to want in looks, and the price was excellent, being under £15. The model on the display shelf said Nordmende, which is one of Asda's own, but some of the boxes showed the identical kettle, but read ONN. Asking an associate, we learned that both are Asda's own brand, made for them by undisclosed major manufacturers, and the badge is rotated on the same model time to time during its existence along with the Pacific branding.
The kettle comes with a no quibble return it to Asda for refund or exchange 12 month warranty, same as the major name brand kettles they sold, so happy with the price, and happy with our prior Asda brand purchases (we own a Pacific brand TV) we brought this kettle home.
Eight months on, I am very pleased with my purchase. The shiny steel exterior is easy to keep clean. Simply wipe any spills or smudges off with a microfibre cloth, and ta da! Shiny kettle! From time to time a quick wipe down with a lint free cloth moistened with window cleaner has helped if removing things like badly aimed squirty cream, slopped hot chocolate, and that sort of thing.
It is also easy to see if you have enough water inside.The back side of the kettle (that is, the part directly opposite the spout) has a viewing window.You can readily see how much water is the kettle. It also has the recomended minimum level marked, as well as the maximum (1.7 litre) level marked. We keep ours topped to the minimum level for a single large mug, and use a measuring jug for any extra cups so as to not use too much electricity boiling the kettle. After doing this a few times and noting the markings, you get a fair idea of how much to actually put in the kettle prior to boiling.
Under the handle is a bright red half oval tab that is actually the button for turning the kettle on. The red plastic is clear and a light actually comes on to warn you it is heating up. The kettle is not a coolwall type, so this is very handy if others are in the kitchen with you working nearby and busy talking rather than listening to the low sounds a kettle makes when warming up to boil!
This kettle has the hidden type element, so the heating element is actually in the base of the kettle, hidden insde the disc it rests on, rather than in the body of the kettle. I prefer this, as it means the element is safe from limescale exsposure, prolonging the life of the kettle. Inside the kettle body there is not a filter, but I purchased one of those scrubby looking coil thngs to go inside the kettle to catch the limescale, and it has worked, leaving the inside body free of debris and at 99p a real bargain. This small additional purchase (also from Asda) means that cleaning the inside is very simple, with me only having to remove and rine the coil thingmabob under running water for a few moments to rinse out accumalated scale, then replace inside the kettle. I recommend getting one, regardless of kettle type.
There is a permanent filter of sorts inside the spout itself, however, consisting merely of a series of holes punched into steel. This should be checked regularly to see if it is clogged with limescale. In harder water areas this may happen more fequently, but we have medium hard water and this has only happened the once. Filling the kettle with a citric acid solution and using as directed followed by wiping down the outside of the filter in the spout with a vinegar soaked cloth solved this problem in moments. The filter is not designed to stop limescale build up, but is there to help filter it out of your beverage to improve taste. hence why I still recommend the the coily thingy, as it will help reduce the amount of scale inside the kettle, and thereby that which gets to your filter. We moved from 3 miles away and the same water conditons, but having the filter in the spout along with the limescale catcher thingummy actually has made our coffee and tea taste noticeably better.
Nothing is worse on a kettle than a floppy lid. Poor catches can get you badly burned when you pour. I should know, I have a scar on my right hand's last two fingers from such an incident. This kettle is well designed in that area as well. The latches on the completely removable lid are metal, and you hear them click into place soundly as well as easily. No flip flopping, and no plasticy hinges to go bust, and no need of super strength to unfasten it for filling.
The handle is ergonomically designed, and my admittedly petite hands have no trouble comfortably gripping said handle, even on days that my Reynaud's and arthritis are troubling me. This makes the kettle an ideal choice for everyone, including the elderly and those with arthritis. In fact, we are getting one as a gift for the inlaws this year.
I have also been asked to consider how easy it it is to fill a hot water bottle from this kettle. I was a bit surprised at the request, as I do not know anyone who actually still uses such a thing, but I do happen to have access to one, so I tried it. You need to be careful when using this kettle to fill such a floppy object with such a small opening as the spout on the kettle is round and not pointy so you do not have as great control over the pour and splatter when aiming the water stream. This of course does not matter if you are trying to the the usual thing with a kettle, namely trying to fill a relatively large rimmed mug made of a rigid material sat on a flat and stable surface!
The boiling time is quick. It takes less than a minute for 1-2 mugs of water to come to a full boil, and when we have had a full load of guests over, a full kettle has boiled in less than 2 minutes. I cannot fault this performance as a hostess as it makes hot drink preparation time for a crowd less than 5 minutes from start to finish. I once turned it on empty by accident, and it shut off as soon as it noticed there was no water to heat. The instructions, however, do warn you to not boil it empty.
Electricity wise, like all kettles, it does use a fair amount of electricty. You can reduce how much it uses by only boiling what you need to use, as long as it meets or exceeds the minimum amount marked. .I think is is pretty common sense, as the more water it has to heat each time, the more power it will use.
So, all in all, this has been an excellent purchase. Rapid boiling, safety light in the ON switch, easy to read level indicator window, stylish, easy to keep clean, excellent warranty with easy exchange terms, a safely firm lid, and an easy grip handle, all at a reasonable price at a widely available shop. All in all, a smart buy from Asda.
Short name: Nordmende NK 003